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What is the Relationship like between your Teen and their Grandparents?

(52 Posts)
Sparklingbrook Wed 31-Jul-13 13:23:31

DS1 is 14. My parents have been in his life since he was born. They live close by and we see a lot of them.

But I have noticed recently that as he gets older that close 'little boy' bond has slowly disappeared. I think my parents are at a loss as to what modern teenagers like to do (as I am sometimes).

I just wondered how much everyone else's teens saw their Grandparents and what they do with them?

mumblechum1 Wed 31-Jul-13 13:50:06

DS used to go to GPs for a week at a time for half terms/summer holidays as we live 300 miles from them and it was free childcare (and they all enjoyed it).

I'd say he stopped voluntarily going at about 13/14 and the relationship now is kind of polite, friendly but much more distant.

He still sees them occasionally for family get togethers and chats to them, but wouldn't go to stay with them now as they're 80, he's 18 and there's no longer anything in common between them.

It's only natural and I wouldn't worry about it.

Sparklingbrook Wed 31-Jul-13 14:06:25

Thanks mumble, I have been a bit wistful about DS1 growing up for a while. We were out with Mum and Dad yesterday and both DM and I saw a little blonde blue eyed toddler boy and sort of sighed. sad

AnythingNotEverything Wed 31-Jul-13 14:09:25

My DS (13) has different relationships with each set - with one he has lots of mutual interests, they do a lot with him and always have done (importantly on his terms- not dragging him to the garden centre). They're still very close.

He's less close with his other grandparents - they don't really understand him and have missed the boat a little I fear.

I think it's natural during your teenage years to reduce contact with grandparents, but I also think you reap what you sow.

Eyesunderarock Wed 31-Jul-13 14:11:45

DD (22) is fond of her GPs (only got one matching set left now) buys them interesting presents, visits them when she's back from uni and has a polite, fairly affectionate relationship.
DS (18) adores them, especially his gran, visits often, rings them up without prompting and helps out with stuff like shopping, gardening, maintenance and listening to his grandfather's words of wisdom endlessly. grin
A similar state of affairs to a decade ago, or fifteen years ago.

secretscwirrels Wed 31-Jul-13 16:57:18

They only have one left, my dm who is nearly 80. My parents played a big part in their lives when DCs were little. Now , sadly it's a duty, but one which both the 17 and 15 year old are quite good at. They don'see her that often but will give her a big hug and chat for a while. I think that' the best you can hope for really, with elderly GPs

Secretswitch Wed 31-Jul-13 17:02:56

My children and my mother form their own mutual adoration society. My older children have little contact with their father's parents. Both are raging alcoholics and have disappointed them badly in the past.
My youngest child loves her bubbe but sees her rarely due to distance and illness.
My mother and my father(before he died) are a huge part of my children's lives. I feel blessed they have nanny to turn to for additional love and support.

bigTillyMint Wed 31-Jul-13 17:09:41

My DM lives 5hours away and is old - used to come down a bit and had an OK relationship with DD, but could never fathom DS. We have to go up to see her now and it is very much a duty visit for everyone, but like secretscwirrels, do it quite well.

PIL live 2hours away and MIL was fantastic with them when they were little. DS is a pea-in-a-pod with his granddad still and loves to see him. DD is also happy to see them - much less "on best behaviour"/duty but it is getting more and more tricky as they get older to fit in visits.

Eyesunderarock Wed 31-Jul-13 17:15:20

I'll never forget DS with his Great Grand Mother.
He only knew her when she was old and alone and had lost the plot, but he'd sit and listen and ask questions when he was 6 and she was 94 and she was in her rooms.
I wasn't sure how well he'd cope, being an Aspie based on logic as she time-travelled and called him by different names and flipped from one decade to the next, but he took it in his stride, unlike his older sister who hated the whole business. He just accepted and moved with the flow.

Panadbois Wed 31-Jul-13 17:23:06

Yep, DD 13 and DS 14 used to adore GP and lived staying and visiting both sets. We can't get them to come to family BBQ's anymore, it's too boring.

i prefer leaving them home so I don't feel embarrassed with one glued to blackberry and other on Ipad blush

Sparklingbrook Wed 31-Jul-13 18:10:34

It's nice to read these. Everyone different.

My parents are in their 70s and very active but the common ground seems to have diminished somewhat and it's hard.

The boys love to see their GPs but it now feels like the GPs are making the effort more than the boys are IYSWIM.

The thought of duty visits makes me want to cry. sad But I know what you mean.

bigTillyMint Wed 31-Jul-13 18:25:51

It'll be us in the grandchildren don't want to see in 30 years time!

Sparklingbrook Wed 31-Jul-13 18:51:30

shock Tilly. My own future grandchildren don't want to see me? <wails>

Eyesunderarock Wed 31-Jul-13 18:52:46

Mine will, I bake seriously good cakes and am fab with crafty-stuff. grin

bigTillyMint Wed 31-Jul-13 19:08:08

Me too eyes! But then so was my DMconfused

At least I will be able to connect on some level with even the trickiest little boy!

We were out with some "older" friends today - same age as nanny and granddad, with DS. They were genuinely interested in him and engaged him in conversation - their experience with years of secondary teaching and their own teenage grandsons shows!

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 19:10:27

On my side, very distant as my parents can't be arsed

On my DH's side, my MIL (the only one left) is universally adored by everyone, including my two teenagers. They visit her nearly every day and relate on a very level ground with her. They jump at every opportunity to see her (which is lots as DH is round there most nights for an hour or two)

lazymum99 Wed 31-Jul-13 19:10:48

My sons are very close to their grandparents. My father recently died after being ill for about 5 months. His 10 grandchildren ranging in age from 10 to 27 took it upon themselves to visit and organise outings when he was able. My mum broke her hip during his illness and I popped over one evening to find 6 of the grandchildren milling about clearing up after having bought huge amounts of Nandos over. They knew his favourite foods and would either bring takeaway or when he was well enough organise visits to wheelchair friendly restaurants.
When he ended up in a hospice and they each visited and got very upset my mother thought this was not good. We explained that their degree of upset corresponded to the close relationship they had with him.
After he died two of the grandchildren collected together stories from each grandchild about their memory of him and put it together as a shared speech at his funeral.
If I was ever having a moan about my parents one of my sons would always stand up for them.

LeGavrOrf Wed 31-Jul-13 19:16:12

My daughter used to be close to my mother, but as she has got older that bond has evaporated. My mother has a new partner and doesn't want to bother with her any more. Last time dd went to visit my mother was either at work or at the pub with her partner. Dd was left to her own devices. Dd also used to have to get 2 trains and 2 buses to get to Devon, my mother would never meet her halfway (say meet for the day in Exeter) and has never visited us where we live. Dd says she can't be bothered with her any more.

She is very close to my MIL and sees her a lot, often going around to sit and chat after college, and she also adored my FIL who died last year. For a couple of years she went there every day after school to drink tea and watch terrible telly like Midsomer Murders. They are lovely people and she enjoys/enjoyed their company.

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 19:18:06

Bloody hell, LeG, lots of parallels there

My FIL died last yr too, and my two endure "Countdown" and suchlike just to be close to my inlaw(s)

LeGavrOrf Wed 31-Jul-13 19:18:20

Anyfucker your MIL sounds like mine. Everyone loves her. She has 12 grandchildren and is also close to her nieces/great nieces etc. the house is always full of kids and young adults of all ages.

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 19:19:02

Crossposted smile

LeGavrOrf Wed 31-Jul-13 19:20:47

X posts!

They are always watching nonsense together, or just generally having a laugh and joke about something.

It was so sad when FIL died, but the house was never empty. Someone always stayed with MIL so she wasn't alone, and when FIL died there were more than 20 people in the hospital room. It's a lovely family of kind, normal people (not like my own at all).

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 19:22:03


< uses typical teenage term >

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 19:23:08

I was with my FIL (and my MIL) when he died. Due to circumstances which would out me, there was just us three. There are no words for that.

Sparklingbrook Wed 31-Jul-13 19:25:16

Oh it's lovely that some have such close relationships. I'm not sure that I could do anything to make my DC's any better. We all went out yesterday and sat round having lunch and a laugh, but the generation gap seems to be widening.

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